Sonia Mcdonald

Global Keynote Speaker

Changing the Game by Changing the Frame of Leadership

Sonia is a leading and motivational keynote speaker, award-winning author, podcast host, CEO and advisor on everything leadership, neuroscience and courage. She will rock your next conference, workshop or event! 

Australian HR Institute
Platform Alliance Group

Solutions Tailored to You

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Sonia’s captivating keynotes are designed to inspire, empower and transform the way you see and action leadership, kindness and courage.


Drawing from her wealth of experience, Sonia engages audiences with compelling stories, practical tips and thought-provoking exercises that encourage leaders at all levels to step into their full potential.

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& Coaching


Immersive learning experiences tailored to address specific leadership challenges and provide actionable strategies.

& Coaching

Suitable for leaders at all levels, from emerging leaders to seasoned executives. Whether you're looking to enhance team or alliance dynamics, develop leadership skills or foster a culture of great leadership, Sonia's expertise and dynamic teaching style will leave a lasting impact.

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& Books


Quick, accessible and impactful learning experiences for leaders on-the-go through short online courses and books.

& Books

If you're looking to enhance your leadership skills, these courses and books are a valuable resource for leaders seeking to lead with authenticity and impact and provide the knowledge and inspiration you need to succeed.

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— About Sonia

Award Winning Keynote Speaker and Author Inspiring Audiences across the Globe!

For more than 30 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of Leadership, People and Culture. Through her experience, research, and passion for outstanding leadership, Sonia has realised what it takes to be an exceptional leader in team and culture. Sonia established the LeadershipHQ consulting business in 2008 and in 2019 the Outstanding Leadership Awards. Since then, she has helped thousands of leaders and people through her advisory work, podcasts, keynotes, coaching, workshops and presentations across the Globe.

Sonia speaks bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, her personal journey as a solo mum, and her career and business challenges. This relatable, heart-warming, and humorous approach resonates with her audience and has seen her become an in-demand keynote speaker with a timely message of courage, kindness, and outstanding leadership as well as neuroscience.

She is a renowned author of Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It!, and First Comes Courage and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, BBC World, HRD Magazine, Smart Company and Women’s Business Media. 

Sonia is changing the face of leadership....


Sonia's Impact as a Keynote Speaker Testimonials and Transformations

Hear out what her clients and audences say about her.

"Sonia is an enthusiastic speaker who communicates complex concepts in an entertaining and engaging manner. Her depth of knowledge and understanding of leadership is exemplified in the detail she goes into in her presentation. There’s no fluff, just substance and she’ll give you skills to take home, tell others and start using immediately to better you, your company and everyone around you."
"Sonia held the 300 attendee audiences attention the whole time. She energised them, she made them laugh, she made them think. I would recommend anyone looking for a speaker to empower their staff - Sonia should be your choice. She exudes energy and positivity and leaves you feeling like you can do anything. She is incredible."
"Sonia was so motivating and encouraging, and I left the room feeling like I really could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. I believe that Sonia has the potential to influence leaders at every stage of their journey, and as I progress through my professional career I always find that Sonia has unique content to help me along my personal development as a leader in my field."
"Sonia facilitated the Women in Mantra leadership workshop for us on International Women’s Day. Her passion and energy left our Team Members feeling inspired to achieve leadership roles at Mantra Group, and they have already set up local networking groups and put measurable goals in place."
"Sonia is an outstanding motivational speaker who inspires her audience to be inclusive and balanced leaders and you always leave wanting to hear more. Thankfully she also has wonderful books to support your journey to not only outstanding leadership, but courage and growth."
"Sonia spoke at our company's annual International Women's Day event 2022 and all guests absolutely loved her presentation. We have received feedback from many people that Sonia was inspiring and created a great positive energy in the room. Sonia really understood our company's core values and tailored the presentation to our needs."
"We engaged Sonia as a presenter for a career development seminar. We found her style professional, engaging and warm and feedback from our team was incredibly positive. Thanks Sonia, we look forward to having you back again!"
“Sonia is one gutsy woman; her story of humble beginnings that led her to self-motivated success was very inspiring. She introduced us to the concept of confidence and leadership in our roles (even if we don’t have Manager or Leader in our titles) and she managed to keep a fairly chatty crowd engaged and eager to hear more.”
The EA Initiative Team
“Sonia McDonald is an inspirational keynote and workshop presenter with a distinctive ability to bond and engage with her audiences. Sonia is well-known for her dynamic, charismatic workshop/presentation style and people walk away on an emotional and inspired high, feeling informed.”
HR Architect
“Sonia has spoken twice at our annual event for 16-18-year-old student leaders, and each time she was instantly able to connect with her audience, generating challenging and authentic discussion. Sonia was able to share insightful expertise relevant to any age group and experience level, and her energy and passion made her sessions a highlight of the event. I would highly recommend Sonia for any speaking engagement or event!”
Griffith University
“Sonia combines bucket loads of passion for her clearly defined purpose, a thorough grounding in the principles of leadership and neuroscience, and an engaging personal style which makes her an adaptable and engaging presenter in front of any audience. Presenting at the LeadX event Sonia had the audience captured with her energy and compelling story telling, leaving all attendees empowered to surround themselves with the right people and confident to take risks to learn and lead.”

Online Self Paced Courses ad Group Programs

Emerging and Women Leaders